Genworth CEO Asks For Trust But Market Says No Thanks

Tough times for Genworth Financial (GNW) shareholders. The name was one of the worst performing stocks in Q2 and unfortunately Q3 might not be much better. The name was punished again, down over 9% at some points, after several disappointing comments made by acting CEO Martin Klein during Tuesday’s Q2 earnings call. Mr. Klein noted that a spinoff of its US mortgage insurance unit, a move many investors have been clamoring for, ‘may not be viable at this time due to potential capital required to execute the transaction.’ Mr. Klein’s analysis of options to avoid a potential credit downgrade by Moody’s wasn’t very inspiring either.

Don’t worry though! The company’s comprehensive strategic review of its businesses ‘is complete’ and the company is ‘moving ahead to implement near-term action plans and are far along in the development of longer-term steps.’ Phew. They solved it! How? Well…although Mr. Klein assured analysts that they ‘want to try to say as much as we can…it’s just a little premature to kind of proclaim or declare what those are right now.’ Again, don’t worry because they ‘know what they are in our minds’. Oh.

Look, we understand that public companies are often faced with the challenge of keeping plans for success close to the vest while also being publicly grilled quarterly (at least) by nosy analysts…but it might help to reveal some more details when you are getting creamed by your investors. At this stage, the company is going to have to earn investor’s trust. It did have a profitable Q2 though leading some people to think the selling is a bit overdone and that it is time to buy. Time will tell, but getting a spinoff done would likely help out (no, we’re not biased). We will keep you updated as more details of the master plan are revealed and for our earlier coverage of the situation click here or here.

Disclosure: Author holds no position in any stock mentioned.